Subsidized Phone Charge


    Does T-Mobile include a subsidized phone charge for plans when one is not purchasing a phone from T-Mobile via monthly payments?


    I'm currently with Sprint, and have for years now been charged $25 / month per line (x2 = $50 / month) with a subsidized phone charge.  This is because we did not purchase our phones through Sprint monthly payment.


    I've been told, by industry definition (same for all carriers), a "subsidized phone" is a phone in which a monthly payment is not being made to the carrier.


    1. This includes, but not limited to some examples. Any phone you purchased, inherited from someone else.
    2. Any phone that has been paid off over a 2 year payment plan.

       3. Any phone you paid for completely up front.  (E.g. You pay $600 for phone up front, but still get charged $25 / month in perpetuity).


    Basically, with Sprint, they're saying "You WILL pay us $25 minimum / month / phone.  If you're purchasing a phone, that's great.  If you're using an old phone, or one you paid off up front, or completely paid off and is > 24 months old, or one you purchased on ebay, or had given to you, you're cheating the system, and we WILL charge you."


    I'm going to assume that T-Mobile does the exact same thing.  So if I want to sign up for the 55+ plan and "bring my own phones" (assuming they are compatible with T Mobile of course), T Mobile is going to say "Uh yeah, we're going to charge you $70 for 2 lines on the 55+ plan, and we're going to charge you $25 / line (x2 = $50) since you're not paying the 'subsidized phone ransom' for a (near) total bill of $120 / month.


    Is this true T Mobile uses?  Anyone not paying a phone off at $25 or > per month, and not paying the subsidized phone ransom?


    I think the idea is that carriers are saying "You will pay us at least $25 / month / phone line whether you're getting a new phone or not."

      All replies

      • gramps28

        Re: Subsidized Phone Charge

        I've used Nexus and Moto not purchased through Tmobile and never was charged.

        3 of 3 people found this helpful
        • tidbits

          Re: Subsidized Phone Charge

          There is tie in to their plans.  You bring your own device T-Mobile does not charge you because you brought your own.  Just keep in mind some features may or may not work on non-T-Mobile branded devices.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • craigl

              Re: Subsidized Phone Charge

              Ok, thank you.  I couldn't and still can't figure out why Sprint penalizes customers who aren't actively purchasing phones from them.


              I didn't think about partially working devices from Sprint to T-Mobile (Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and LG G5 are my two Sprint phones).  I shall find out.  Worst case is I'll have to purchase phones for T-Mobile, but I don't need the latest generation phones - the models listed are just fine.  Hence I can purchase used T-Mobile devices and not pay a penalty for "bringing my own" to T-Mobile -- a big no no and expensive proposition with Sprint.